Maintenance work back on track for Hunter Valley Rail Network three-day shutdown

  • Due to recent significant rainfall in parts of NSW, postponed maintenance work will take place next week from Newcastle to Boggabri and from Muswellbrook to Ulan for the Hunter Valley Rail network.
  • The three-day shutdown will now take place between 6.30am Tuesday 27 April and 6.30am Friday 30 April and is required for maintenance personnel to gain safe access to the track.
  • Major construction starts on the ARTC’s Narrabri to North Star section of Inland Rail

The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) will carry out a major maintenance shutdown on the Hunter Valley Rail Network from Newcastle to Boggabri and from Muswellbrook to Ulan next week.

From 27-30 April 1200 workers will conduct over 390 separate maintenance jobs across the network.

ARTC Group Executive Hunter Valley Network, Wayne Johnson said the maintenance work was postponed from earlier in the month due to significant rainfall across NSW.

“Safety is our top priority and the recent heavy rain and localised flooding meant we were unable to do the scheduled work at the beginning of the month,” said Mr Johnson.

“We work closely with our suppliers to deliver these works to ensure that Hunter Valley Rail Network is kept in the best possible condition, however the weather prevented us from carrying out the work until next week,” he said.

Major construction is now underway on the ARTC’s Narrabri to North Star (N2NS) section of the Inland Rail project.

Mr Johnson said the launch of the N2NS section will present great opportunities for the communities in northwest New South Wales.

“As major construction activity ramps up in the region, there are opportunities for locals to find employment, training or business opportunities with Inland Rail, ” Mr Johnson said.

“In the first month of construction nearly 10,000 sleepers and 11 kilometres of rail have already been removed and there  are over 100 people  working on the project.”

“More than 500 people are expected to directly work on the construction of Inland Rail from Narrabri to North Star.”

Mr Johnson said there are more than 60 tenders currently being advertised for the project through our construction partners.

“There are not only benefits now but well into the future, with this section of the Inland Rail project allowing the agribusiness sector in the west of the state to transport their product more efficiently to the Port of Newcastle,” Mr Johnson said.

The on-track shutdown maintenance work across the Hunter Valley will start at approx. 6.30am on Tuesday, 27 April and is expected to be completed at 6.30am on Friday 30, April 2021.

Works will include:

  • Upgrading 450M of track formation
  • Replacing a major crossover and major turnout at Quirindi
  • Replacing 9,976M of worn rail
  • 31 undercutting sites, 418M of track
  • 4000M of removal of fouled ballast and replacement of fresh ballast
  • Replacing major steel components on 9 turnouts
  • 21 track machines, removing defects and performing maintenance activities
  • Track defect removals
  • Scheduled maintenance activities.

Passenger services to the North Coast and Maitland will be as per the timetable, but all other regional services will have alternative bus services provided for impacted passenger services.

Details and schedules can be found at the Transport for NSW website.

The next major maintenance shutdown is scheduled for 25-27 May 2021. For further details


 Media contact: ARTC media team 1300 196 401


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